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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

PDP candidate proposes new Energy Dept. for oversight

Manuel Calderón Cerame, center, a Popular Democratic Party candidate for the San Juan District 4 seat in the Puerto Rico House of Representatives

By The Star Staff

Manuel Calderón Cerame, a Popular Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the San Juan District 4 seat in the island House of Representatives, presented on Sunday his agenda for the energy crisis and the oversight of the LUMA and Genera PR contracts.

“The lack of oversight and poor service from LUMA affects us all in our communities, and for this reason, the first package of proposals that I will be filing in January 2025 will include the creation by law of the Puerto Rico Energy Department with the mandate to supervise and enforce the PPP contracts of LUMA and Genera PR, as well as consolidate in a single public entity the executive functions in energy matters that today are distributed among various agencies of the government of Puerto Rico,” the San Juan municipal assembly member said.

Calderón Cerame pointed out in a press conference that part of the purpose of creating the Department of Energy is to guarantee compliance with Law No. 17 of 2019 establishing the public energy policy of Puerto Rico and ensuring compliance with the established metrics that LUMA Energy and Genera PR must meet.

“One of the problems we are facing at the moment is that the regulatory framework established by Law 120 of 2018 – which was the law that gave way to the privatization of the PREPA – indicates who will be in charge of the supervision and compliance of LUMA and Genera PR, is the Public-Private Partnerships Authority, an agency that has proven to be deficient, silent and without adequate knowledge on energy issues to supervise the PPP contracts amid the energy crisis that Puerto Rico is experiencing,” Calderón Cerame said.

The candidate presented an additional proposal to create the position of public interest representative on the governing board of the proposed Department of Energy, who will be elected by direct vote of the clients of LUMA and Genera PR. As part of his or her duties, the individual will conduct a retroactive investigation into the level of compliance with the clauses of the LUMA contract in conjunction with the expertise of the rest of the Department of Energy. The conclusions of such an investigation may include the possibility of recommending the cancellation of the LUMA contract, Calderón Cerame noted.

“Transparency is vital to know with data and evidence what has been happening since the LUMA consortium assumed the administration of the electrical distribution network and customer service, and as part of the responsibilities of this representative of the public interest elected by us, the clients, is to direct this investigation where we can communicate to the Government of Puerto Rico if the correct thing is to supervise the contract with more severe metrics through the new Department of Energy or if, therefore, it is a good public policy decision to proceed with the cancellation of the LUMA contract to look for a new operator,” he said.

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William Rosa
William Rosa

Dear Mr. Manuel Calderón Cerame, it seems that you have just discovered the Atlantic Ocean again. Where have you been since the PNP/PDP came up with the idea of having 6 or 7 agencies dealing at unison with the energy problem PR have been facing for the last, at least, 25 years. Perhaps you can get out from underneath the rock that you have been living and talk about the stupidity created by your political allies. We don't need another agency and the army of administrators that we currently support; we must get rid of Luma, Genera and any other agency, public, private or public-private, messing up PR future.

Force yourself to think progressive and what can you do to…

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